SHAWNEE — Southmoore pitcher Katelyn Brown was ready for a rematch with rival Moore when the state softball tournament brackets were released.
Saturday, she got her chance and she made it worthwhile.
Brown struck out 11, held the powerful Lions' offense to just four hits and hit the decisive two-run homer in the SaberCats' 3-1 victory to give the school its first team title in female sports at The Ball Fields at Firelake.
It was also the first time in school history for the SaberCats to beat Moore in fastpitch softball.
“It's very special to finally beat Moore and get a state title beating Moore,” said Brown, who is committed to Southern Nazarene University.
For Brown, though, her dominance started from the opening game of the season.
She has allowed just seven earned runs, all coming after the middle of September. She allowed just one run during the state tournament, and that was unearned Saturday when Moore's Caitlin Hall scored on an error in the fifth.
“Honestly, no,” Brown said when asked if she expected to be that dominant this season. “I just wanted to do my best to help the team.”
She really found a way to help herself, hitting a two-run homer in the second off Moore ace Jenna Lynn, who is committed to Oklahoma Baptist University.
The rest of the way, Brown flirted with trouble in the circle but escaped each time.
“We know Katelyn's a great pitcher, she has been for the last four years,” Moore coach Stephanie Riley said. “We knew what her game plan was and she's a dominant pitcher if you allow her to be. We worked in the cage before lunch, after lunch, we came out thinking we knew what we're going to do and just kind of deviated from the plan a little bit.”
Moore (34-4) opened the third with a double by Brianna McArthur, only to leave her stranded at second. The Lions also left two runners on base in the fifth and seventh inning, growing more and more frustrated as the game progressed.
Southmoore ends the season with a 31-4 record while starting four freshmen and four sophomores around Brown.
When the two teams met in September, Brown struggled. She walked seven and hit one batter during the 4-2 loss.
It was a rare off night that she made sure didn't happen again.
“She was really special,” Southmoore coach Jeff Small said. “She's improved every single year, works hard, loves to play and works hard all the time.”